Ziva Takes The Bay

I’m finally starting to hit my stride again since returning to work a few weeks ago. The last few weeks of maternity leave were like a whirlwind, and though I’m only back 3 days a week at first, keeping up with life, house maintenance, and figuring out our new schedule has kept us all very busy. Not to mention the birth of our brand new nephew!

And of course, isn’t it almost predictable that I would get sick for the first time in almost a year right in the middle of it all? The body just knows when it’s a convenient time, yaknowwhatImean?


With all of that going on, it already seems like it was ages ago that I took our sweet little baby Z on her first trip to California. Daddy staid home since we planned the trip sort of last minute and he had to work. I hadn’t thought I would be ready to fly with Z so young, but when my company extended their parental leave policy right before I was originally supposed to return to work, it gave us another 7 weeks to hang out and travel. Flying with a 3 month old sounded a whole lot less terrifying than flying with a 2 month old. You know, that month of parenting experience makes a huge difference.


Sleeping for a few minutes on the flight there.
Sleeping for a few minutes on the flight there.

Our flight there was very smooth considering what my expectations were (picture screaming baby and angry passengers). Ziva didn’t cry a bit and spent her time attempting to woo the woman sitting behind me with big smiles, batting lashes, giggles, and coos.

I will say that changing her diaper in the microbathroom (with no changing table) was a challenge, as was keeping her in my 17 inches of personal space at my seat. I purchased a travel boppy nursing pillow off of the Ann Arbor mom2mom list for $20 at the last minute and it was SO worth the money. The pillow extended my lap area to give Z more space and helped keep my back from aching while holding her for hours on end. What makes it a Travel Boppy is that it folds in half and zips together, and has a strap so you can carry it like a bag (I stuffed it in my carry on when we weren’t on the plane). The other thing that helped was my Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Clutch (again, I bought used for cheaper). Those bathrooms are small enough without trying to manage a diaper bag as well as the baby!

Ziva with Grandpa Gilbert

We spent the first few days in CA at my Dad’s house. My dad is always ready for an adventure so the second day in town he and his girlfriend, my sister and her 1 year old daughter, and Ziva and I all decided to take the ferry boat from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I was really skeptical about how we would fare being out for so many hours without a fast easy way to come home if Ziva couldn’t handle it. I severely underestimated my little one.

On Friday night my Dad hosted a delicious Mexican feast for shabbat dinner and invited many of our close friends and family to come and meet little Ziva. When we were thinking about whether or not I should take Z to California one of the main pros of going was that people in my world would actually get to meet her as a baby, rather than as an almost 1 year old when we go over the winter holidays. It was incredible getting to see people who have known me and held me since I was a little one, holding my own little girl. Pretty mind blowing.

Ziva with cousin Stella and Auntie Rachel
Ziva with cousin Stella and Auntie Rachel

On Sunday my sister and I headed to Alameda to hit up a sale at Tot Tank. We spent a few hours with our two little girls meandering on Park street, popping in and out of shops. I’ve always loved how Alameda feels so “small town” even though it’s right in the middle of the bay. We headed to the new In & Out on the island before heading to my moms. I try to get a double double protein style, animal style at least once a year or so. It’s worth the extra calories ;-). Unfortunately, the traffic heading across town and off the island was horrific that day (not sure why… maybe cause of the Warriors?), and with 2 under 1 in the car it was a sad ride. Ziva was ready to be held and nursed, not sit in the car seat.

My baby and my bestie. You can see the spit-up on my shirt. Mom life is messy stuff.
My baby and my bestie. You can see the spit-up on my shirt. Mom life is messy stuff.

My mother threw us a wonderful women’s gathering at her house (our family home) that evening with many of her long time friends and some I hadn’t met before. Again, it was amazing seeing people I’ve known my whole life with my baby girl. My mother has always fostered such a wonderful sense of community and I’m happy to know that we can be part of it when we are in town.

This is where our visit took a turn for the worse. During the party that evening I started to get what I thought were allergies and by morning I was full blown sick. Fever, body aches, mucus, the whole shebang. We ended up having to cancel all of our plans for the second half of the trip, which meant many of my friends didn’t get a chance to meet little Ziva. I was pretty sorely disappointed in our luck. Thank goodness I was at my moms though. I would have loved to be able to do more the second half of the trip, but it was such a blessing I was there where my mom could take care of me and Ziva while I was in the thick of it.

At first I felt like the second half of the trip was a wash since we had to cancel everything, but my mom pointed out that for her it was great since she got 3 straight days with Ziva, playing with her and bonding. Once she put it in that perspective I was really glad we were there. We live so far away I have often wondered how strong a bond Z will have with my family, so any chance we get to give them time together is a big plus in my book.

After the success of the first flight I was a bit less stressed about how Ziva would fare on the flight home. What I didn’t plan for was an extremely long time waiting on the runway before take off. I started nursing Z as we pulled away from the gate, but by the time it was our turn to take off she was already done and I couldn’t move quickly enough to grab a pacifier or something else for her to suck on as we took off. Word of advice- have your back up soothers on the ready or baby will absolutely cry. Being the chill baby she is, it was only about 172 miles of crying (according to the track your flight app on board the plane), but it felt like forever. Once she was settled down it was an easy flight.

The flight home in her own little lounge.
The flight home in her own little lounge.

Delta was able to move Ziva and me to an empty row of two seats so I was actually able to put her down in the boppy on the seat occasionally during the flight which was such a life saver. Definitely ask at the gate if you haven’t purchased a seat for your little one.

All in all, it was a successful trip. I always love going home to California, and it was so meaningful to create these memories with Ziva in my hometown and with my community. I can’t wait to take her back in December when she is bigger and more able to interact with her surroundings. Just imagining the way she and Stella (our niece) will interact then makes me smile! One thing is for sure though, I won’t be itching to travel alone with a little baby any time soon. Ziva was a champ when it came to every aspect of travel, which I’m so grateful for, but even with a “good” baby it was challenging and exhausting! I’d much rather bring along a second set of hands. Thank goodness her daddy will be joining us on the next trip!



Pregnancy Weeks 10-11: The last weeks

I promise, this won’t be the only thing I talk about on this blog forever, but for right now it is what matters. Breaking the silence about pregnancy loss allows me a place to think things out, and has allowed others to share their stories with me and find support, so we can lean on each other. That is part of why I continue to share. Thank you for listening.

Love, Sarah

Weeks 10-11
It’s finally getting warm! Which means a return to active living. Going for a walk is the best cure for any discomfort. At my new job I have a friend from grad school and previous jobs who I can go for walks with around Ann Arbor’s (A2) downtown. I’m so happy being back in A2 where I went to school and first loved Michigan. I can’t wait to get settled and look into maternity yoga classes, prenatal groups and eventually take advantage of all that A2 has to offer for families and children.

It’s been a little nerve-wracking switching jobs, health insurance, and providers right in the middle of the first trimester. I can’t wait to get it all settled and have our next appointment. I wish we had gotten a picture from the first ultrasound at 7 weeks, but soon enough we’ll see our little one again.

Symptoms: Still have eczema patches that showed up with conception. Crazy pregnancy dreams are a norm, and occasional nausea and dry mouth are still a part of day-to-day life, but the main symptom is still exhaustion.

Sitting at my desk all day has been a bit uncomfortable, but I was happy to adopt a stray stability ball that found its way to my colleagues office. Sitting on the stability ball has really helped my back and comfort when sitting at my desk all day. Although I’ve been told it’s a nauseating to talk to me as I bounce on the ball. 🙂

Finally, my trip to California arrived! I couldn’t be more ready visit with my family, celebrate my sister and her pregnancy, celebrate Passover with our families, and host my best friend’s bachelorette day in Napa!! I am a bit nervous to fly for the first time pregnant, but as long as I stay hydrated and calm it should be okay.

Since we’ll be 12 weeks on Sunday, April 20th (the day we fly home to Michigan) we have decided to start telling the rest of our families and close friends while we are home and can tell them in person. I can’t wait to see their faces and talk about the future with them. It’s awesome because there are a number of new babies in the family living in the Bay Area, and soon there will be a few more!

Dinner with friends and family during week 11, before the loss.
Dinner with friends and family during week 11, before the loss.
Adorable baby clothes I've collected at Mom2Mom consignment sales for my baby niece!
Adorable baby clothes I’ve collected at Mom2Mom consignment sales for my baby niece!
My childhood home. I love this place. My mother will be selling it this year and this could be my last trip home to say goodbye :-(
My childhood home. I love this place. My mother will be selling it this year and this could be my last trip home to say goodbye 😦

Berkeley Bound

Home sweet home! Image by Ready.Set.Sarah.

After spending an awesome weekend in Calistoga for the vineyard wedding, the Beau and I headed back to Berkeley to the house were I grew up. His parents had visited my mom’s home once before for a brief brunch, but this trip was the first time I have really had a chance to show them around my home turf.

It was a big group of us for the day with his parents, his sister Rachel and her boyfriend Jeremy (now Fiance), Jeremy’s uncle, and my mom and I. After a short visit to our favorite shopping and snacking haunts on 4th, we walked through the sunny streets of West Berkeley to my very favorite mexican restaurant, Picante, where I have been ordering Pollo Asado Burritos since I was nigh 6 years old. Ah the chipotle flavored memories of youth.

UC Berkeley Campanile image by Ready.Set.Sarah.

After lunch my mom went home to rest and we met up with my Dad up by his office, which is right next door to UC Berkeley. It was fun to walk around campus seeing it through fresh eyes. It really is such a beautiful place even with the grime of downtown Berkeley around it… I’m still a UC Davis Aggie all the way (and maybe a little Wolverine), but I can appreciate the bayside beauty that is my hometown. Apparently, at the top of the bell tower (Campanile), The Beau asked my father a very important question… wink, wink. I was down below with The Beau’s sister hanging out in the shade, there really was no bad option on this gorgeous Northern California day.

View from the Lawrence Hall of Science Image by Ready.Set.Sarah.

We ended the 1 day Berkeley tour by taking in the vista from the Lawrence Hall of Science parking lot (one of my favorite views in the Berkeley Hills).

Bay Area Image by Ready.Set.Sarah

That is the city of Berkeley and the campus in the foreground, followed by the bay bridge to Treasure Island and finally landing in San Francisco. Man, I hella love the Bay.